Mapiya Woksape Creates the Moon
(c) 2017 Haylee V
Many millennia ago, when the Earth was still young, a brave scout decided he would catch a rainbow. Few of the elders knew how or why they were made, or if they could even be captured. No one in Ahiyu Wigmuke's village had ever heard an idea so foolish -- or foolhardy.
"If Wakantanka had wanted us to catch the sky, He would have given us all eagle wings. Put away this dream, and focus on the harvests. Winter is fast approaching."
But Ahiyu would not be swayed. He WOULD capture the rainbow, and weave its colors into the tapestry of his life no matter what the cost.
"If you INSIST on this foolishness," his mother advised, then go see Mapiya Woksape, for she, alone has ever touched the clouds. If anyone can help you in this quest, she can. But be sure to bring her a worthy gift, lest ill fortune befall you."
I must bring Grandmother Woksape a worthy gift, if I am going to request her help, he thought.
Ahiyu searched the areas surrounding the village for a week, but could find nothing suitable to give her. Perhaps it will not matter, he thought in desperation. And I must begin my journey TODAY, or I might not get another chance.
Ahiyu grabbed the basket that his mother had prepared for him. Fortunately, she had made pemmican the day before, as well as a few loaves of fresh bread. This should stave off my hunger, if I ration it correctly.
Ahiyu thanked his mother and set out at once to find the shaman. He knew his task would not be easy, as she had alienated herself on the tallest mountain in the Black Sands many years ago to live the life of a hermit.
=== === ===
At first, the trail sloped gently westward across the Prairie. Ahiyu covered much ground during this time, reaching the base of the mountain after just three days of light travel. But he knew his quest had just begun. Winter was beginning to set in, and the night air brought the Arctic's chill with it. He had to find a cave for shelter before nightfall...
Ahiyu began his perilous climb up the mountain after lunch. Fortunately, the sun was still high in the sky, and the trail, at least below the timberline, was well traveled.
As dusk was approaching, Ahiyu spotted a small outcropping just off of the trail about 100 feet. It appeared well used, so Ahiyu set his pack inside and began to gather wood for a fire.
After gathering the wood, Ahiyu headed back to the rocky overhang and pitched his small tipi, then set to build a small fire -- just enough to heat his meager rations. His sina was quite warm, and he would need no fire tonight, as the animals were all hibernating, and therefore posed no danger.
That night, Ahiyu dreamed strange and fantastic dreams -- dreams of Wakantanka, of clouds, and of rainbows. he saw the shimmering lights flow into his wicker basket, and felt the warm sun shine upon him.
=== === ===
The next morning, Ahiyu awoke to find the sun quite high in the sky. He quickly repacked his gear and began his trek up the mountain once again. After about two hours of traversing the rocky trail, his feet were quite sore. His moccasins did little to prevent the jagged rocks from tearing into the soft flesh of his heels. He was now way above the timberline, looking at clouds below him. About 500 feet above, he could make out a thin tuft of smoke from what appeared to be a makeshift lean-to. He had arrived!
Almost tripping several times in his haste, Ahiyu rushed to the smoking shack. He saw a white-haired old crone idly tending a fire, and singing to herself. Ahiyu knew the words well -- it was one of his favorite lullabies.
"Hau, Kasai!" Ahiyu greeted the wise crone.
"I know why you are here, young one. I also know you bear no gift. Do you expect my help for free?"
"I have but three days rations and some pemmican. Nothing more."
"Then how will you pay?"
"I'll give you anything, if I can but capture the rainbow, Honored One."
"Anything? Even your very soul?"
"Yes. Anything. I must weave the rainbow. No price is too great."
"So be it. Come.. Empty your basket and hand it to me now."
Ahiyu promptly did as he was ordered, and when the wicker basket was completely empty, he handed it to the crone.
She threw it into the cauldron, then began chanting in a language long since lost to Ahiyu. He tried to listen, but found himself drifting off to sleep.
=== === ===
The next morning he awoke to find himself on a sheer cliff, overlooking the vastness of the Earth. This MUST be magic, he thought, for no mountain can be this high.
In his hand was his basket -- only it had been somehow magically transformed to SOLID GOLD!
All around him, Ahiyu saw rainbows, resplendent in their beauty.
Take your rope and tie it to the basket's handle. Then cast your basket, and you will have your rainbow, said the familiar voice of the crone.
Doing as he was instructed, Ahiyu quickly pitched his basket over the cliff's steep side. Unfortunately, the rope wasn't secured well enough, and he felt the basket slipping out of his grasp. Thinking quickly, Ahiyu dove for the basket and caught it -- just as it was going over the cliff.
Ahiyu gazed at the rainbow in his basket for a moment, relishing its radiant beauty, before the gravity of his situation beset him. He felt the wind rushing through his hair, and knew that soon, he would meet his end on the jagged rocks far below.
The crone found the body the next morning, cold as stone. She picked up the basket lying beside Ahiyu, and took the captured rainbow out. Chanting softly, she wove the light into a thin cord, and wrapped it around Ahiyu's lifeless body, making sure it was securely fastened. She then made a lasso out of the remainder, and caught the passing sun. Immediately, the lifeless corpse sprang to life.
It's now time to pay, young brave. You will now forever chase the Sun, never to catch her -- never to feel her warming rays again. But don't fear! For you will lighten her dark shadows from this day forward...
He who chases rainbows loses the sun.
Many people grasp daily for the unobtainable -- fame, wealth, or popularity -- only to lose what they already have -- strength of character, sense of worth, and compassion for others -- as a result.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.